In an analysis of long-term weight loss, more than half of individuals who lose a significant amount of weight end up regaining it within the next two years. This is because weight is influenced by more than just diet and exercise.
Often, additional factors can impact how our weight loss journeys play out—or don’t—over time. While it is disheartening not to see long-term results, it is important to recognize and understand that weight loss progresses differently depending on each individual.
Nonetheless, it is possible to address the obstacles that hinder people from losing weight and in turn, achieve a healthy and effective weight loss journey. Below are four common barriers that hinder weight loss and ways they can be overcome.
Heightened Stress Levels
Stress is one of the major factors that affect weight gain. According to Orlando Health, the science behind this is that stress affects a person’s appetite by releasing cortisol. This leads to blood sugar crashes that tend to make a person crave fatty or sweet Food and, in general, be more susceptible to eating binges.
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Stress is also linked to poor sleeping habits, which similarly increases the risk of metabolic disorders that lead to weight gain. Thankfully, stress can be reduced in several ways. An easy Home remedy is to drink tea, as it has the potential to help lower cortisol levels.
Moreover, green tea offers many benefits, including weight reduction, brain function improvement, as well as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention.
In addition, simply spending quality time with oneself and with others can lower stress levels, as it promotes relaxation and mindfulness. As much as exercise and physical activity are necessary to lose weight, keeping yourself mentally healthy is just as important.
Lack of Time
Many people express a desire to lose weight. However, due to the amount of effort that consistent weight loss entails—from regular exercise, a healthy diet, proper sleep, and many others—only a few people can commit to it.
Because of this, people tend to take unsafe methods that promise quick results. Sometimes, though, these methods can even be detrimental to one’s Health. For instance, fad dieting can cause rapid weight loss via the use of diet supplements.
Unfortunately, these are not FDA-approved they do run the risk of certain issues like weight fluctuations and mood swings, among others.
It is important to understand that there are no shortcuts to losing weight. Consistently carrying out weight loss efforts is necessary to instill healthy habits that safely shed the weight and keep it off. While this is not easy, it is possible with realistic time management.
Even simple reminders in the form of alarms could be a great help in observing healthy baby steps like eating on time or squeezing in a few minutes of exercise. Understanding your body’s needs and making time to take the right course of action are key factors to effective weight management.
Sometimes even with regular exercise and proper nutrition, losing weight can be difficult for some people. This is due to their genetic and metabolic predisposition. The rate of food breakdown and fat distribution in the body varies per person and sometimes causes them to be less reactive to more common weight loss methods.
This is precisely why generalized diets and workouts do not fit all. That said, it is difficult to identify exactly what each body needs, which is why some individuals turn to medical weight loss programs.
These programs are designed by medical professionals and are made specifically for individuals dealing with biology-based weight loss barriers. It often involves metabolic testing, an exercise program, and a healthy eating plan.
In addition, it is further enhanced by the prescription of FDA-approved medications. These medications can work in several ways, such as reducing your appetite.
While not everyone is eligible to join medical weight loss programs, the method has proven effective for those who are—as it is much easier for a person to be consistent with a tailor-made plan that evens the playing field rather than a generalized one.
Lack of Motivation and Support
Arguably the most overlooked barrier when it comes to weight loss is the negative influence from family and close friends. An OECD study indicates that lack of support is prevalent among overweight and obese individuals.
This manifests in various ways, such as mocking comments and downright disapproval, or even offhanded remarks and lackluster responses—all of which can largely affect one’s motivation when pursuing weight goals.
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While we cannot change how others act, we can seek support in other places, such as online and in-person communities. For instance, weight loss support groups have proven to be effective for some individuals.
Through these groups, they can receive the support they need, which boosts their confidence. They also feel a sense of enjoyment during the activity, as well as accountability for continuing their weight loss efforts.
Being in an environment where people are not only supportive of your endeavors but are attempting to achieve similar goals will greatly help with taking strides forward on your weight loss journey.